Father Dan O’Donovan, Hermit at Beagle Bay

Father Dan O’Donovan, a Catholic priest, lives as a Hermit on the outskirts of the village of Beagle Bay, a community of around 300 Aboriginal people in the Kimberley, Western Australia.
dan hermit
“Dan O’Donovan, like a latter-day desert father, lives a hermit’s life near Broome in the far west of Australia and has entered deeply into the practice of Yoga in India and the Jesus prayer of Syriac Christianity… His contributions over many years to “Nelen Yubu, The Journal of Aboriginal Theology and Life”, edited by Martin Wilson MSC (which has now unfortunately ceased publication), have been collected in Dan O’Donovan, “Dadirri” (Kensington: Nelen Yubu Missiological Unit, 2001).”


Beagle Bay is a medium-sized Aboriginal Community on the western side of the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome. The community was established by Trappist Monks around 1890. The first Catholic School was established by the Trappist Fathers at Beagle Bay in 1892. In 1895, the Trappist monks of Sep Fons in France, extend their missionary work from Beagle Bay to Broome. In 1901, Pallottine Fathers from Germany took over Beagle Bay Mission with two priests and four brothers. In 1907, the St John of God Sisters began to run a mission school at Beagle Bay and in 1918 the famous church was opened. It features a pearl shell altar which is now a tourist attraction.


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One Response to “Father Dan O’Donovan, Hermit at Beagle Bay”

  1. Dr Bruce Shaw Says:

    I knew Father Dan O’Donovan about ten years ago. Is Father still with us? I would like to renew our acquaintance. – Respetifully,
    Bruce Shaw.

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